There are plenty of things to do in Vancouver in November, even in 2020. While Fall is in full swing, November is an in between stage. The October events are over and the things to do in Vancouver in December have not started.
Whether you are a local or planning a visit to Vancouver, this post will give you your fill of what to do in Vancouver in November. I suspect you will be surprised at all that the city has to offer.
Remembrance Day Ceremonies
While 2020 Remembrance day ceremonies will likely look much different in 2020, it is still an important moment in the day and will always be one of the biggest Vancouver November events, if only in a virtual way this year. As information becomes available based on public health directives, the list of Remembrance Day events in Vancouver will be updated here.
If you are a visitor to the city, November 11th is a holiday in Canada. Expect holiday hours and some closures.
Read more about Vancouver 2020 Holiday Cancellations
Black Friday Shopping
Picked from our American neighbors, Black Friday shopping is now popular all over the world. Expect plenty of Black Friday November events in Vancouver. Check into online shopping this year, if you want to avoid other people or lineups.
FlyOver Canada’s Fly Like Santa
Fly like Santa this Christmas on a magical flight across Canada from FlyOver Canada. After meeting some of Santa’s elves, Chestnut and Pinecone, you’ll join them as they take flight across Canada looking for their fellow elves. You may even get a sneak peek of Santa’s Workshop as you soar over the North Pole.
Fly Over Canada is offered all year round with seasonal specials like this one. It is on our list of the best things to do in Vancouver for this reason!
Tickets: Book your tickets online in advance here for the lowest price and to ensure availability.
Dates: November 19th, 2020 to January 3rd, 2021
Location: 201 – 999 Canada Place Vancouver, BC
Important Notes: The queue is partially exposed to the elements. Ensure you wear proper attire. It is recommended to buy tickets online in advance.
Vancouver Christmas Market (Cancelled for 2020)
The famous Vancouver Christmas Market starts in November and features a German-inspired Christmas Market. For those who like a jump on the holiday season, it creates the perfect atmosphere to get into the holiday spirit. Experience a selection of traditional food and beverages, and browse vendors offering authentic wood carvings and toys, knitted goods, nutcrackers, pottery, and other unique gifts. This is a popular place to get Vancouver souvenirs.
Dates: Cancelled for 2020. Planning a virtual connection. Stay Tuned.
November Events Vancouver: Gastown Food Tour
The Legendary Gastown Food tour takes you through the cobbled stone streets of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Enjoy local craft beer, Japanese Kar-age style chicken, freshly made Sicilian Tortellini with local wine, battered fish with hand cut fries, tasty Carolina-style pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, organic smooth soft ice cream, creamy awarding winning cheesecake, and delicious hand-made chocolates!
On this 2.5 hour walking food tour, a professional improv comedy actors full of passion for the city and its food will share the fascinating and funny little-known stories about Vancouver and its “Wild West” history that dates back 150 years. Learn about Gassy Jack, Gastown’s notorious founder and the stories that him famous and put Vancouver on the map.
Tickets: Buy your tickets online here
Dates: Thursdays to Sundays 2pm
Location: Departs from Waterfront Station 601 W Cordova St
Vancouver Tree Lighting
This November in Vancouver things will be a bit different. While the Vancouver Tree Lighting event is gaining in popularity and might look a little different in 2020. When details are released, they will be posted here.
Towers of Tomorrow with Lego at Science World
Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks features 20 of the world’s most astonishing skyscrapers from the United States of America, Australia, Asia, Canada and United Arab Emirates constructed with breathtaking architectural detail and accuracy by Australia’s Ryan McNaught, the only certified LEGO® professional in the Southern Hemisphere.
Built on a scale of 1:200 and with stunning precision and attention to detail, the LEGO® towers offer visitors a bird’s-eye view of these extra-ordinary buildings and are just as impressive in model size.
Visitors, young and old, will be able to create their own ‘tower of tomorrow’ from over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks in hands-on construction areas and add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition.
Location: Science World (Included with Admission) 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver
Dates: Thursdays to Sundays 10am to 5pm until January 3rd 2021
Lights at Lafarge Lake (Canceled for 2020)
Lights at Lafarge Lake is one of the largest free light displays in Metro Vancouver, featuring more than 100,000 twinkling lights. The outdoor display will be a popular Vancouver event in November 2020 as it offers an outdoor activity. If you are wondering what to do in Vancouver in November and are looking for an outdoor activity, this is one you should add to your list.
Dates: Cancelled for 2020. Will Return for 2021
Surrey Tree Lighting
Equally as popular as the Vancouver tree lighting, the Surrey tree lighting is one of those holiday events that those living in Metro Vancouver should not miss. This is a free holiday event in Surrey and occurs on November 28 this year at Surrey Civic Plaza.
Date: November 28th 12:00pm to 8:00pm with Tree Lighting at 6:30pm
Location: Surrey Civic Plaza – 13450 104 Ave, Surrey
Lights on the Lake at Harrison Hot Springs
While this event gained a ton of online press for being mis-marketed as a Whoville, it is a beautiful display of lights in Harrison on Harrison lake. Whether you visit for the day or make it a weekend getaway from Vancouver, it is a great outdoor event that will likely be very popular in 2020.
2020 Dates to be released
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Named one of the most spectacular holiday lights displays in the world, Canyon Lights is set to dazzle and amaze, high above the forest floor. The suspension bridge, rainforest and Capilano River are ablaze with lights, Treetops Adventure (the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world) is lit from top to bottom, the “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel mesmerizes on Cliffwalk, while the Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt entertains the whole family.
A tradition for many Vancouver families, Canyon Lights looks forward to welcoming back guests with a few operational changes to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff in a COVID world. While normally one of the things to do in Vancouver in November, Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge will open to visitors on December 1st 2020. Tickets and annual passes will only be available for pre-purchase online for a specific date and time to limit contact upon entry and reduce capacity.
Dates for Canyon Lights: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 and runs until Sunday, January 3, 2021 from 2:00pm – 9:00pm daily (closed December 25).
Location: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Important Notes: Masks are required. Strollers are not allowed. Dress for the outdoors.
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum
Thousands of guests will be transported to a winter wonderland at the Burnaby Village Museum during Heritage Christmas, one of the largest annual holiday celebrations in Metro Vancouver. Twinkling lights will adorn the vintage storefronts at Burnaby Village Museum, while holiday carolers
and characters like Buddy the Elf wander the streets during Heritage Christmas. The result is a magical holiday experience unlike any other in Metro Vancouver and it’s all presented free of charge by the
City of Burnaby.
Location: 6501 Deer Lake, Burnaby BC
Dates for 2020: TBD
Stanley Park Holiday Train
Welcoming over 200,000 visitors annually, the Stanley Park Railway is popular with locals and tourists alike. They have recently announcedBright Nights at Stanely Park will run Nov 26th until Jan 1st 2020. The 20 gauge, 2 km track winds through the forest over ground cleared by Typhoon Freda, the most devastating storm in Vancouver history which blew through in 1962.
Passengers can get a close-up look at a vintage engine and a quick photo before boarding for the 15-minute ride.
The jewel of the Stanley Park Railway’s collection of old locomotives is a locally-built replica of Canadian Pacific Railway Engine #374, famous for pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s.
Stanley Park Railway is adjacent to other popular destinations such as Lumberman’s Arch, Malkin Bowl, and the Rose Garden. Tickets are $10 for all ages (under 2 is free). They must be bought online in advance.
Location: Stanley Park
Dates: Nov 26th to Jan 1st
Grouse Mountain Peak of Vancouver
Grouse Mountain offers more than just skiing. With skating, light walks, snowshoeing and more, it is worth taking the tram up the mountain. More info will be posted on activities and dates for 2020 as it becomes available.
Get your admission passes here.
Holiday Markets and Craft Fairs in November in Vancouver
Craft fairs and markets for November 2020 will be posted here when details are released.
Is November a Good Time to Visit Vancouver?
November is considered the offseason to visit much of British Columbia. Generally, the local ski hills are not open and Whistler Blackcomb traditionally opens in line with American Thanksgiving. The summer months are peak season to visit Vancouver, so if you want to visit without crowds, November is a good time to come into the city.
It rains 20 out of 30 days of the month, so make sure you plan for at least a chance of rain. Some of the fall foliage is still on display in November.
Read More: 99 things to do in British Columbia
Does it snow in Vancouver in November?
As you will read below, snow is a rare sight in Vancouver and is usually only seen on higher elevations. With that being said, flakes do fall in the city on occasion. If you are looking for a snowy city, November in Vancouver is not the right choice.
Weather in Vancouver in November
Vancouver has a moderate climate for most of the year. It does not get the cold snowy weather that you will find in much fo the rest of Canada, but it is important to plan for the elements just in case. There is a likely chance of a dusting of snow in higher elevations in Metro Vancouver in November, and you are likely to see fresh snow on the mountains around the city.
Snow on the mountains likely means rain in the city. When planning a trip to Vancouver in November, ensure you are prepped for rain with a decent waterproof jacket and appropriate footwear. You will also want layers.
Get more information on Vancouver weather November with tips on what to pack, temperatures to expect and how likely you are to see wet weather or sunshine.
November in Vancouver: What to Pack
As mentioned above, it does not get extremely cold, but expect wet and cool weather. You will want to ensure you have warm, waterproof clothing including sweaters, hoodies, and a heavier jacket. Bring closed-toed shoes and some type of waterproof footwear. You will probably want a light pair of gloves and a hat. If you do not have a packable umbrella, I suggest you buy one
Things to do in Vancouver by Month
Image Credit: Lindsay Elliot / Tourism Vancouver
Image Credits: Lindsay Elliot / Tourism Vancouver (TOP) and VanDusen Gardens (BOTTOM)
Header Image Credit: Tourism Vancouver / Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!